List of the year in numbers, Q & A 2014, and why I left the USA

Here’s my list, folks:

In 2014, I….

How many friends did you lose in 2014?

Let’s see. It’s hard to count them all. Some deliberately slipped away, hoping I wouldn’t notice. I do know of one person who due to tech glitch thought I didn’t want to be her friend anymore. Luckily, that got cleared up and I explained no way was that deliberate on my part.
I’ve counted four friends lost. And no, five. Okay, thought of one other. Oh no, two more. Eight? Probably far more than that.

How many jobs did you apply for but get turned down in 2014?

I applied for one job but got turned down due to not having a good internet connection. Fair enough. I have a very good internet connection now, but they never contacted me. I didn’t apply for very many jobs, knowing I am unemployable due to having no work history. I need to lie next time. Sadly, that’s the only way to get by.

How many housing situations did you get turned down from in 2014?

Oh my god so many. I tried my darndest. I applied to a lot of places. I remember the letters pouring in. “We aren’t putting any more people on our waiting list.” Or turned away at the door from low income housing cuz my income was TOO low. I finally got an application in to a place in Boston. Inner city. I was told the wait was two to three years when I applied, but a year later when I called to see where I was on the list, they said seven years.

Then there was the gal in Kansas City who seemed so nice and told me I could come live with her, stay a week, then by then I’d have found a place. This whole thing was so sinister and I never should have trusted her. I was starting to look into how I’d get Puzzle and me to Kansas City. Then she said she was going to be near my home in Massachusetts soon, so she’d bring me back. This was a complete stranger, someone in the Movement.

But…Just cuz they are in the movement doesn’t mean they are well-intentioned. What happened was that she did a nasty Facebook trick to get me to open up about the extent of my eating disorder. She introduced me to a pal of hers who had had an ED. We messaged privately, but this was still a three-way conversation. I didn’t even know what would happen. I opened up to the gal who had ED, grateful for some opportunity to communicate because I had so little. Then, the Kansas City gal said she was going to read this messaging to learn about ED.

I never heard from her again. She dropped contact immediately. No ride to Kansas City. Not one word, completely dropped contact.  Okay, discrimination, right? I’ll never know cuz I never heard from her again. I didn’t want to speak to her after that and I felt that what she’d done was awfully cruel. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I felt ashamed.

I tried at random calling housing places all over the country. None were within my price range. I ended up telling them I’d contact them when I was getting ready to move. I was too embarrassed to say I had so little money. I remember pleading on Facebook for ideas, where to go, where on earth could I turn? That was so humiliating.

Must have been a few months ago I saw friends on Facebook offering housing to their friends. I didn’t get any offers like that. I felt so rejected. People knew I was in dire straits. I knew most couldn’t take a person in, even for a very short time. But I had like 300 friends. I felt like Oliver Twist. No place to go. It felt horrible. Wow, I was really cornered until I came here.

How many groups or clubs kicked you out in 2014?

Oh, church. They made it look like they weren’t kicking me out, but they were. They’ll deny, but that’s what happened. Why? Because after I was abused in a hospital they decided that taking legal action against the hospital was some sort of crime.

I tried to join a few groups. I was told I wasn’t wanted. For a group for people with eating problems, anorexics weren’t allowed. What did they have, weigh-ins for membership?

I tried to get speaking engagements but was turned down. I remember two occasions. I was getting sick of being told “No.”

How many times were you bullied in 2014?

Oh my goodness, that must be over 50. At least. No, over 100.

How many times were you rudely insulted in 2014? This doesn’t include perceived insults, but outright put-downs.

I’d say several hundred times, back in the USA, and continuing online even though I took off.

Out of nearly 365 days, how many of those days did you shed tears?

Until after I moved here, I cried every day.

In 2014, how many times did you attempt suicide?

Not once.

In 2014, how many times did you have a passing thought about killing yourself?

A few times, usually after someone insulted me, but this was only a passing thought. I never seriously considered it. I knew  back in Boston the medical people were denying me care and this neglect was causing my slow death. I’m so happy I got away.

Compared to last year, how depressed were you?

Far less. I was very sad after I was abused in 2013, but that has improved now that I have gotten away from shrinkage. Leaving that therapy mentality really helps!

Did you try to kill yourself in 2013?

No. I suffered from anorexia nervosa. I never made an attempt on my life in 2013. I’ve been treated so badly in my life, that you’d think I’d have killed myself  by now, but no, I haven’t.  In summer 2013 I got so starved that my kidneys were failing I wasn’t capable of getting myself to eat anymore. I begged for help to get out of the cycle and was flat out denied. Actually, this is documented. Anorexia isn’t the same as actively killing yourself. Many with anorexia do commit suicide, most likely because of bad treatment or neglect.

My kidneys began to fail, as I figure, July 1, 2013. That’s when the whole world started feeling like I was on a ship on a rocky ocean. It never stopped nor gave me a break. July 10 I saw my own psychiatrist, Dr. Kimberly Pearson, and terminated with her because she had threatened me and yelled at me in her office more than once. I told her I’d arranged follow-up care at Harvard Vanguard. I sweet-talked my way through the appointment, but inside, I was seething. I hated that woman who cared about her money far more than she cared about us patients.

July 18, 2013, I saw Linda Simon at Harvard Vanguard. I was desperate for help. She obviously had never treated anyone with severe anorexia before and had no clue of the seriousness of my situation. She took a phone call during our session. No, this wasn’t an emergency or family member in some crisis. This was a casual call. She stayed on the phone, chatting away while I sat there. I told myself this lady wasn’t for me. She asked where I’d last been hospitalized and I told her Walden, July 2012. She had never heard of Walden. Wow, then I really knew. Surely, if she knew what she was doing and had experience with eating disorders, she would have heard of Walden. Right in front of me, she opened their website and took a peek, then demanded I sign a paper allowing her to get my records from Walden. I told her, “Why don’t you believe me, instead of believing other practitioners?” But no, Linda was so demanding, threatening me in her office. I told her the doctor and staff at Walden never listened to me that July, never even cared. So why should this Linda rely on unreliable records? Afterward, I phoned Harvard Vanguard to retract my paperwork, refusing to allow records-sharing. She phoned me up and threatened me, raising her voice.

I phoned my primary care physician at Harvard Vanguard. I told her what had happened. She said no way should I see Linda Simon again. She arranged for me to see this other guy, a psychologist, Dr. Bauman. My appointment was the 23rd of July.

Dr. Bauman immediately told me he didn’t treat eating disorders and knew nothing about anorexia. I was glad he told me the truth. But I begged him for help anyway. He refused. He referred me to a lady in Harvard Vanguard’s Cambridge office.

Puzzle had a vet appointment. I was so scared because I could barely stand up. I knew it was getting harder and harder to make sense when I spoke, due to starvation. I asked if there was anyone at church who could go with me. Nope. Everyone was “too busy” or “on vacation.” Oh, they probably were. Isn’t church a place where you find community? Nope. Not for skinny me. They were all off enjoying their wonderful vacations, and I was starving to death all alone.

I called the Harvard Vanguard office and made an appointment with Fatima Munion. The appointment was August 6. Wow, what a joke. We spent the whole session, paid for by insurance, on demographics. She said she felt sorry for me. My next appointment was not for another month, in fact, it was in late September. She said, “Talk to your social worker.” I left, terribly discouraged. I remember I fell when I was trying to get off the bus. I was that weak. Then I realized I didn’t have a social worker. I had a CBFS lady but she was unreliable (they all are), was in love with her cell phone, and knew nothing of ED. I felt unloved and lost.

I had been trying to hook up at the Women’s Center, and met someone there via e-mail.  It took like six e-mails before she even told me her first name. It was like pulling teeth, she was so cagey. I never managed to schedule a meeting with her and apparently the Center wouldn’t give out phone numbers. I felt like giving up.  I told myself no one gave a shit. I truly believe I was right, very few did.

I tried a few times to reach out on Facebook. I remember I wrote private messages to a few people and got NO RESPONSE! What the fuck are friends for? I was too starved to feel pissed off.

What happened to me wasn’t a suicide attempt. Far from it. I was dying, and begging for help. I never got it. That was very sad, but I’m sure glad I am alive.

I had a few friends who stuck around. One wonderful woman who called me every day when I was in the hospital. Another who visited me, but the following year, 2014, he dumped me over a stupid argument. I have another one who called me occasionally while I was inpatient, but for whatever reason, every time I talk to her now, I feel like she doesn’t even believe that I was abused. I think she assumes “perceived abuse.” It wasn’t perceived, it really happened, but you can’t force people to believe you. I think she assumes I have some disorder that causes me to “feel persecuted.”

Could thousands of people, rapidly growing in numbers in the antipsychiatry movement “perceive” similar abuse? We are gaining in solidarity, numbers, and strength. I know I am not alone.

So my answer is no, I never attempted suicide in 2013. Sadly, everything that happened at Mount Auburn was based on lies, not based on the picture I honestly presented to them.

After the abuse, I felt I had no reason to live. I knew the hospitalization could have gone otherwise, but didn’t. I wasn’t treated with respect. Had I been respected there and treated like I was a human being, things would have been far different for me when I left the hospital. Had my community welcomed me back and given me leads for finding legal help, my life would have been different, too.

I cried every day. I felt that Mount Auburn had ruined me. I had no in-person companionship except Puzzle. I cried and cried, asking God, or anyone, Why did they abuse me? I wasn’t suicidal, but many in my situation would have killed themselves had they been abused like that. I knew if I killed myself, the shrinks would have absolved themselves of all responsibility, convincing the authorities that the abuse was imagined. They would claim my refusing “treatment” was why I killed myself. I sure didn’t want to die misinterpreted. I hung on, hoping that things would get better.

I had to hang on a long time. Finding Mad in America was key, actually, going to the Justina Pelletier protests and meeting others.

I might have stayed in the Boston area if I’d even had a voice there. But I didn’t. I’d show up at places, try to contribute, and was told to shut up. I had no clue I was valued at all by anyone. I saw other survivors in the movement getting published, being invited to speaking engagements, and being honored. I wasn’t. I only got rejected over and over.  Where was love? I felt like Oliver Twist without a home. I needed to find my place. I knew the answer was not Mental Health Care. Nor was I being accepted in Boston among the activists there.  It was something else.

 

I had to create my own place in the world. You won’t find it in any “help” organization. You won’t find it in a hospital nor in therapy. You won’t find it in another person. You have to create it on your own. No one will build that place for you.

You must try hard. Find that place. God isn’t in a church. God isn’t in the sky.  God is in your soul. That’s the holiest place of all.  Some say God is everywhere but please don’t rely on some church cuz they mostly lie. If you have no answers to life’s problems, create your own answers. Then, you are blessed with inner knowledge that no one can take away.

Where are you now? How has life changed?

I guess for years I’ve wanted a coffee companion. I’m very happy now to have one. We meet every morning. Others stop by at our table to chat, in English and Spanish. I feel so blessed.

We have all kinds of ideas. I know a guy who cured his own cancer. I know many who speak out against what’s happening in the USA. Many who were booted out just like I was. You know when you HAVE to leave. And many won’t reveal what, exactly, drove them out of the USA. Often, it was bullying. People who are aware, who tell the truth, get bullied cuz no one wants to hear what they are saying. The general public  back in TV-land USA would rather be cozy with the feel-good brainwashing. Those of us here in exile refuse to believe it nor go along with it.

Some expats see the coming of mass extinction. Others see a total rebuilding of social structures. Many are writing books. Many enjoy self-sufficiency and farming the land. We are survivors, and each has a story to tell.

Many don’t attend the gatherings. I’d say those that show up represent a minority of those that have settled here. We are growing in numbers, folks that know what’s happening and are trying to change things on a global value.

I’d say I feel valued here. I’d say I have a place. People believe what I say and here, I am NEVER told “It didn’t happen.” Nothing like that. I’m never called crazy or paranoid. I don’t think it even crosses anyone’s mind here. Not even close.  In fact, I am seen as a person who is aware, that is, who has woken up to the reality of the way things are. People ask me for help or advice. This is thrilling to me. I am so happy to help out and contribute my knowledge, education, and experience.

I never thought, after the rejection in Boston, that the accusations and bullying would ever stop. But it does. Please, please please get away from oppression so you can live your life freely as an adult. Find your place. It’s well worth the wait.

 

 

Unfounded fears and scapegoating on the part of an entire community

This does happen, sadly, and I have seen it first hand. Everyone has. Remember after 9/11, it seemed like there was so much hatred of any person who was either Muslim or at all looked Middle Eastern? Or now, the mass paranoia about Ebola? I suppose all one has to do is mention having traveled anywhere in Africa, even if that trip was years ago, and this will cause fear and avoidance. I imagine anyone who is originally from any African country will face discrimination. There’s far more chance that a person will get eaten by a shark than of catching Ebola. Or ending up wrongly put into a mental hospital or coerced into taking dangerous drugs, or ending up in “therapy,” totally convinced of their own neediness. That notion alone is hugely damaging. Our danger is not from some foreign place, but within society itself. There’s the toxin, the poison that needs to be eradicated. The lies about mental health (which are generated not by the medical sector but by pharmaceutical companies and large corporations) are far more dangerous than the potential for spread of Ebola.

Anyway, I’m gonna talk about scapegoating for a minute. I am away from all that now, but this is what I saw happening:

I saw mass paranoia in my community, Watertown, Massachusetts, which is a Boston suburb, about me. The paranoia started in the medical sector, then spread throughout the medical system to the general community. I was confused about what was happening at first and had no clue. I thought these doctors were there to help me. But this wasn’t true. I doubt they even saw their roles as “helpers” after they made that unfounded determination that I was a huge danger to society.

It was certainly shocking to me. I am not a danger to anyone. Yet again and again, folks were fearful of me as if I were a leper or carrying some horrible communicative disease. Or if I were truly violent. I felt like a reverse magnet, repelling all that came into my path. Their rumors were unfounded but there was little I could do.

Here, I need to give specific examples to show you what I mean. I had these state workers coming to my home simply because I’d been in mental hospitals. The worker I had was grossly irresponsible, just didn’t even care about her job or about me. I noted that her boss was also irresponsible and didn’t even know this worker was such a slacker. I wrote to him and threatened to report him to the DMH. Guess what happened within a month?

You guessed. My new worker called and said next time she was coming, her boss was going to be with her. This was July 2012. So in they came, she and her boss. He insisted I go to an ER. I asked him why, and he said I had edema. I told him I’d had chronic edema for over a year and this wasn’t a reason to go to an ER. Then, he said if I didn’t agree to go, he’d section me to go. Yep, for edema that had been there for a year, suddenly this was a big emergency. Due to threat of sectioning, I went along with it. My worker drove me.

Once at the ER, I was interviewed. No one seemed to care about the edema. No, my worker’s boss had insisted on a psych evaluation. So in walks the shrink. You’d think I was pointing a loaded gun to his head. Why? He was shaking all over, especially when he had to touch me or go near me. Yes, this guy was afraid I’d attack. I was shocked! I had no intention of attacking anyone! This was the ER shrink at Newton Wellesley. He was the Australian doc who had been there a while. I cannot recall his name right now.

I was so stupid. I figured any pills I’d taken were going to show up on a blood test. So I fessed up to taking 1/2 of a pill of a diuretic. Kinda makes sense to take a diuretic if you have edema. But he said this represented “danger to self” and he sectioned me to go inpatient. One half pill? This wasn’t an overdose nor was I doing this to self-harm. I needed the edema looked at and what did I get? A shrink with his finger on a panic button.

Here’s another example. I was so shocked at this. I went to see my minister. I’d gone to talk to him plenty of times. I don’t know what happened. I walked in there, as usual, carrying a medium-sized handbag, actually this was a woven cloth bag I had over one shoulder. So this time when I came to see him, I had a document in my bag I wanted to show him.

So my words were, “I have something in my bag to show you.” I was shocked at the obvious fear in his eyes. He stammered and said, “Let’s go into the other room so Nancy can see, too.” Nancy was the church administrator who worked in another church office. I knew, then, why he was saying this. He was scared I had a gun in my bag and was going to shoot him. Or maybe a knife. I had neither. I never had plans nor desire to attack anyone, especially not with a dangerous weapon.

I was never a danger to children nor have I ever done violence to a child. I have never beat up anyone. Guess I have that over my minister, who confessed he once beat up a kid because the kid was a foreigner. He confessed this publicly in a sermon.  Who was dangerous here?

I never said a word. I felt  like a leper or some hated ex-con or sex offender, yet I was none of these. I never carried a weapon and have no clue how to use one. I was so shocked. I should have never gone back there again. Sadly, I kept going back till it was damn obvious I wasn’t welcome anymore.

And you guys know about the accusations around the beginning of 2014…..

Now, the church has this “safety committee.” Safety against people like me? All a complete misunderstanding based on their leader’s paranoia. In fact, it’s their mass fear of people of those that are labeled, their collective paranoia, that’s terribly unsafe.

I feel sad that this happened but it’s over now. Mass gang behavior anger reaction to a lie. I was scapegoated.  They might as well be sending lynch mobs to those that they don’t like or don’t understand. It’s very sad. It was a huge mistake, and I hope the church doesn’t act this way toward anyone else…ever again. Nor the medical community. It was a huge mistake. No one should be scapegoated and I hope no one else has to suffer.

What my last days in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA were like before I left

It was like that nightmare I had had a year previously. That I received in my email notification that I, Julie Greene, was dead. Then I decide to attend my own funeral. I sat in the back and listened to all the nasty things people had to say about me.

Don’t tell me people only say nice things about dead folk. Not true. I’ve heard enough “We never liked her” to make me puke.

I heard enough of that said about me, too, either straight out, or via the disrespect I had been given, or overheard, to clue me in on one thing: I HAD to leave fucking Watertown. I was dying to relocate! Anyplace where I could start over. Completely.

It took a full year before relocation finally became reality. This was really gonna happen!  No more of this shit where everyone hated me anyway.

You had to laugh.  I sure was! I felt like I was a walking ghost no one cared about or noticed anymore. Or wanted. Anywhere. Inside, I would tell myself, “It won’t be long…I will get out soon….” This was comfort. Each time someone was rude to me I promised myself that very soon, Puzzle and I would be free of this hateful attitude forever. I told no one I was leaving. Why should I? No one gave a shit about me! A few folks I wanted to say something…but then, stopped myself.

So I began to observe how often I was called “stupid” or honked at or told I was a nuisance to someone.  Or rudely shoved and told to hurry up. This occurred several times a day!

I would never see them again.  Wow, did that ever feel fantastic.

What the hell is wrong with Watertown? Is it overpopulation? Too much mental health “care” pushed on people? Clearly, these things will break families apart and kill people. Been trying to figure that one out. No one shoves or honks or yells here where I have relocated to. In Watertown, ambulances drove down my street with their sirens blaring four or five times a day. I have heard this sound about twice a month here, and I am near the main drag.

I feel free now and awfully glad to have gotten out from a place where clearly, I was not wanted.

Love, Julie and Puzzle

Not everyone is a blind follower….

Today, the blind followers will hear
That “bad behavior” equals “we don’t want you here”
That “we don’t want you here” equals “mentally ill”
That “the mentally ill should go elsewhere”
That “the mentally ill are dangerous for our children.”

It’s 6am, and I’m sitting here at home and I’m rather certain
That this is what the blind followers will hear in a few hours.

However, not all are blind followers.
I, for one, am not.

I encourage anyone who is reading this now
To walk out, or just not show up anymore.
If you can, speak out.
It’s a tough world out there.

God Bless the Words

The pen is mighty indeed.  If you are president, you speak to millions every time you give a speech that you have written.  If you are a religious leader, you write a sermon and you get to write whatever you want.  You read aloud to an entire congregation every Sabbath.  Imagine having an entire audience hanging onto your words that frequently. That’s power indeed.  Us writer types would love to have that many opportunities to give readings.  These clergy are community leaders and their pens have clout.

Think of the school playground.  The playground is a microcosm of the world. Think of the big kids and the little kids and the way the little kids get squashed and bullied.  It’s a tough world out there.

Think of my voice. Who am I?  A little kid that gets stepped on.  Not long ago, I worked extremely hard on an MP3 file, a spoken word piece that is posted publicly on the Marathon site.  I worked on that so hard.  I posted links in three places on Facebook and on here and got ZERO feedback.  For all I know, it’s sitting there and no one even bothered to listen to it.  Now a big kid, some popular kid that everyone “likes” can quickly take a photo of their dog (which takes a few seconds to snap) and get ONE HUNDRED “likes” on Facebook, or say something idiotic, and they get 100 “likes” for that and are told just how smart they are.  My status as “born loser” still stands and that ain’t gonna change.

Okay, I accept it though.  Some kids gotta fight harder than others to get their voices heard. Some kids are just born nice-looking and got natural charisma, and others are awkward.  I ended up klutzy. That’s life and I’m a fighter.

So something big happened yesterday.  It was something that told me, “Julie, it’s time.  You gotta say something. Do it. Do it.  Do it.  Even though you are considered a loser.  You can speak up and someone’s gonna read what you write because you DO matter.”

God Bless the Words.  Because I did speak up.  I refuse to watch discrimination and exclusion keep on happening.  I refuse to tune out.  I refuse to sit and be “mindful” just to get by.  I refuse to go to a “support group” where we sit around talking about how to cope with other people’s bigotry. Why “cope”?  I think I’m done with coping.  I want ACTION now.

God Bless the Words.  No matter how small or big, because all words are mighty.

God bless Ann Frank’s diary. She wrote and had no clue what would happen to her words.  God bless the teenage love letter.  God bless the recipe, handed down from generation to generation.

God bless the suicide note.

God bless the seven digits Joe gave me, his phone number written on a little yellow piece of paper handed to me in the smoking room of a psych unit that began a 17-year love relationship.

God bless my words in 1997, that said, “No, this must stop!  Someone is hurting him!” and the abuse stopped. Even though at first, no one listened.

I would not shut up.  I insisted.  I cried out.  I said, “No! Stop!  Make it stop! Tell them to stop!  I am NOT crazy and someone’s got to listen!  He is being abused!”

Of course, I was told, “Julie, you are a mental patient and you need to shut up.  You’re nothing but a loser.  Your behavior is INAPPROPRIATE AND DISRUPTIVE.”

God bless disruption.

God bless babies. Babies cry and fuss are plenty disruptive.  Nobody minds a baby crying but apparently, someone else’s “disruptive behavior” wasn’t okay because they weren’t a cute baby.  In fact, this so-called “disruptive behavior was labeled “unsafe.”

Unsafe?  I feel unsafe hanging around places that have a collective hostile attitude toward people like me.  I don’t like hanging around places where I am feared, as if I’m a criminal.  I dislike feeling unwelcome.  In fact, I think this hostility and snobbery is flat out wrong, especially when that attitude is enforced publicly through newsletters.

God bless my own words.  So I don’t matter and I don’t get to do a public reading once a week and in fact, no one wants to hear anything I have to say. But I wrote a letter.  An e-mail.  No, not to just anyone. To where it matters.  I’m pretty sure it went to the right place and that action will be taken.  And the letter was rather specific.

See ya later, alligators.  I’ll keep you posted.

Love, Julie and Puzzle

Why does society hate people with anorexia?

Do you know what I’m talking about?  If you have had anorexia, you sure do know.  Ever get hospitalized for this disorder?  The media loves to portray us having a blast at horse farms and spas for the rich.  Truth is, people who have this darned disorder are all alone lying in bed where we get bossed around, told we can’t even get up, and no one calls or visits. Suddenly, the people we thought were our very best friends aren’t even speaking to us anymore!  What the F?!!!

I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.  We skinny folk are hated.  It’s true.  Society hates anorexics.  Why?  Is it because we are skinny and women in particular are frustrated, unable to shed the pounds themselves, so they take it out on us?  I used to think that this was the case, that even female doctors and many male doctors who had serious body image problems indeed did this “transference” thing on their anorexic patients.  It would certainly explain all the rude remarks we get from doctors and nurses, don’t you think? It would surely explain their overly controlling, manipulative actions as well, such as unnecessary forced or coerced “weigh-ins,” or pressuring a patient through threats and accusations.

I am wondering, also, if there is another factor involved: the suicide factor.  If your anorexia has progressed past a certain point and you have been hospitalized or have experienced some kind of medical complication, society is going to wake up and say, “Hey, this anorexia is dangerous and he/she might actually die from it.”  For whatever reason, when this “wake up call” happens to a sufferer, or rather, to the people around the sufferer, they wake up suddenly.  It’s like they pop up out of bed from a deep sleep, saying, “Hey, he/she’s suicidal.”

Society hates suicidal people.  Absolutely no question about it.  People who commit suicide are automatic sick fucks.  No, you can’t talk about it.  Yes, there are suicide hotlines but these are “confidential,” that is, you call them in secret and these are “first name only,” that is, it’s so darned scary to come out and admit, “I feel like ending my life cuz my life just plain sucks.”

I learned early on that it was a dumb thing to tell anyone under any circumstances that I wanted to die.  How did I learn this?  How does anyone learn anything?  You try it out and you find out the hard way.  You bake your cookies too long and they burn, so you never bake them that long again.

So I guess this was in high school.  Out of the blue, I told someone I had a shitty life, but I didn’t say why.  I didn’t get into a lot of detail, just said I was unhappy and made brief reference to the possibility that maybe I was considering suicide.  I didn’t want to put a huge emphasis on it or reveal how seriously I was thinking about it cuz I didn’t want the guy to worry.  However, I was certainly not at all vague about the “shitty life” part.  This wasn’t exactly a friend and not exactly a not-friend.  The person completely avoided me after that.

I asked myself why he was avoiding me.  We had had many intellectual discussions in the past.  I had clearly caused him discomfort.  To this day, I don’t know if merely my opening up to him was the cause (I never really opened up to anyone anyway), or if he was uncomfortable with my unhappiness and that I might commit suicide.

Of course, a lot of kids in my high school were most likely thinking about suicide.  For many, a passing thought.  Some kids thought about it all the time.  I’ll do know there was an awful lot that didn’t get discussed.  I’ll bet in high schools out there right now, today, it’s not being discussed enough. In the adult world, today, it’s not discussed enough, either.  That’s because, as I said before, society hates suicidal people.

If you’ve ever been suicidal, society hates you and calls you a sick fuck.  But why?  I mean, maybe life sucks for a good reason.  People lose their jobs because of bad luck, not bad morals or a bad attitude.  Their homes burn down not because God is angry, but because of a frayed wire or loose connection and if the fire department didn’t make in there in time, it’s because of poor timing, so if your think your life totally sucks right now because you lost your job and your home is nothing but ashes, well, dang, you’re right, your life does indeed suck!  Bad luck isn’t an illness!  If you feel lousy about the crap that happened, I don’t blame you!

Feeling lousy needs to be normalized.  Growing pains need to be accepted for what they are. We are okay. There are no sick fucks in this world.  Society need to listen more and love more.

So back to my question: why does society hate people with anorexia?  It’s such a push-me-pull-you!  Everyone wants so badly to lose weight.  The overweight person is also despised.  If you have ever been overweight you can feel that hatred, too.  I certainly have felt it myself during the years I spent living in a much larger body than the one I am living in now.  I sure wouldn’t want to go back to those years, mainly because of the discrimination.  The rude remarks, both subtle and flat out blatant, drove me nuts.  I commend anyone who puts up with this baloney and is able to ignore it.

I know many people whom I greatly admire who aren’t affected by what I described above.  They float past it.  In fact, they don’t have to dismiss it or ignore it or make any effort, because it’s like they have a built-in filter. They don’t even hear it!  It’s like those spam filters.  They have this cruelty and discrimination and bullying and Evil of the World filter.  So they can be whoever and whatever they want and be secure with themselves and they don’t hear or see the baloney.

That would be cool, wouldn’t it?  To feel good all the time and be happy?  I sure would never, ever consider suicide or ever want to starve myself if that were the case, if I truly believed the world was a positive place and that everyone was filled with love in their hearts and good intentions.

So these very, very positive people can walk past those two separate water fountains and they don’t see them.  They won’t get pissed off and see the wrong in it. Anger is bad.  It’s negative, after all.  Do you see what I am saying?  Those of us negative folk are the sick ones and if we get immensely frustrated enough to quit the planet or consider quitting it, then we get ostracized.

That very well may be the reason you are now all alone in that hospital and the people you thought were friends aren’t friends anymore.  Let’s go blame those that are already hurting.  Kick the ones that are down and make them feel even worse.

Life for a person with anorexia is likely to suck for a long time, mainly because of the societal hatred part.  I am still rather shocked at it all.  All the reactions.

There’s one thing I can say, though.  If it has happened to you, I hear your cries. I do know what it feels like to be all alone.  I do know what it’s like to have your rights taken away and I do know what that “blame” is like when the truth is, you did nothing wrong and the people around you are wrongly blaming you.  You are not defective and there’s nothing morally or constitutionally wrong with you.  If you have ever lied, it’s only because you had to do so in order to stay alive, because of the immense pressure to survive in the cruel, artificial world called “treatment” where no one even listens to us anyway.  I do know what it’s like to have a door slammed in your face, and to ask yourself, “Can anything more go wrong?” and then one more person says goodbye.

I love you all.  God bless us, everyone.

Well, that was darned stupid, I repeated myself

Not that anyone reads this stuff anyway, but one blog entry was a repeat of the previous one practically.  Wow, how dumb can you get?

People who are scared that no one is listening to them tend to repeat themselves, because they are afraid that no one was listening the first time.

When I was younger, I knew folks that were so scared of not being heard that they would actually say the same thing twice in succession.  Isn’t that sad?  You wonder about their background.

Then there are those who don’t bother speaking at all, because they think it isn’t worth it.  Or folks who do not speak clearly or audibly.  Occasionally, it’s due to a speech impediment, but more often, there’s another reason for it.

I used to have slurred speech because of my medication.  Now, my speech isn’t slurred.  Still, I feel my voice is too sing-song.  I like that my voice is animated when I read aloud because I feel that I should be expressive.  Surely, I do not wish to read in a monotone!  But I feel that during my overmedicated years, my slurred speech discredited me.  It made me seem unprofessional.  I could have had a million degrees and still no one took me seriously.  I also had pimples and the shakes.  I couldn’t even get a volunteer job looking like that.  Sure, I was qualified for these jobs I was applying for, but could not get anything at all, nothing, due to my overall appearance of mental incompetency.  I think the shakes was the worst part of it.  I’d say, too, that the side effects of the meds were worse than any overt symptom I ever had.  You couldn’t look at me and say, “There’s a mentally ill person.”  I would go apply for a volunteer job, fill out an application, tell them I was experienced and had x credits, more than I needed for a complete degree, and that I’d had x experience answering phones.

Then, I’d see the look.  Look me up and down.  Staring at my shaking hands.  Maybe they’d ask, “What’s that?” about my hands and I’d have to come out of the closet about the meds and my condition.  All this was before the ADA, mind you.  So they’d nod and smile and say, “We’ll call you,” and I’d tell myself, “Yeah, sure,” go home, and never get a call.  Or they’d plant me at a desk where I’d answer a phone that never, ever rang.

Same thing happened to Joe.  He wheeled himself into a veteran’s hospital in hopes of getting to talk to paralyzed vets.  Maybe even doing some counseling, you know, peer-to-peer work.  Not that he had any training in it, but just between you and me, Joe would have been awesome at it.  First of all, just being a guy was an asset, cuz not a lot of guys are out there doing counseling work, and a lot of vets are guys.

So Joe told me they gave him that look when they saw him roll in.  He knew the look.  Like, “What can he do?”  I mean, really.  What the heck are these people doing with a messed-up attitude like that.  They shouldn’t be working in a vet hospital if they are going to discriminate against someone who comes to volunteer.  They discriminated against Joe based on appearance.  Yes, appearance.  Now this was well after 1992, folks, well after the ADA had been signed and put into law.

Poor Joe.  He went and worked that job, sitting at a phone that never rang, just like I had done when I was discriminated against, hour after hour.  He was so relieved when there was construction at the hospital.  He saw it as an out.  He left the job, never to return, very discouraged.

It was really their loss, their missed opportunity.  But they hurt Joe, too.   I didn’t know what to say, whether to motivate him to speak up or to try to encourage him to quit sooner. People who run these places are flagrant liars and make excuses and cover up for themselves quite a bit.

Like I said, Joe was in no way qualified to do counseling, which I’ll bet was his dream, but they could have placed him in a more hands-on position with patients.  Then, his quick wit, his contagious smile, and his humor would have infected everyone around him.  Sometimes they have folks bring things from floor to floor, such as flowers or notices or mail, or bring a visitor to a room or something.

I’ll bet it would have made someone’s day if Joe had showed up at their room, peeked in at the TV and said, “Yeah, I agree, the pitching sucks today.  Want anything?”

Even when the Red Sox lost miserably, Joe had folks laughing and smiling anyway.  He could crack a good joke or see the positive in nearly anything.  If the joke wasn’t funny enough, he’d make a face at himself and that was funny, too.

But no, these people didn’t see Joe, they saw the wheelchair and they judged.

Man, I miss that guy.  He never said he was angry over being discriminated against, but I knew he faced the dilemma every time he went there, whether to quit or, shall I say, how to quit.  I admire his ability to put the whole thing out of his mind once it was all over, and move onto other things.  He took up the drums again.  This he did for the last year of his life approximately.  It was incredibly fulfilling for him.  He discovered that he was able to use his feet just enough to do the drum foot pedals, even though his feet couldn’t hold him well enough to walk.  I’m not sure he could use both feet, but he was able to do practically everything he needed to do with the equipment he had, and he was able to move things around and change the equipment around so he could get it to do what he wanted.  I’ll bet some of you realize that some folks who use wheelchairs develop very strong and super coordinated upper bodies.  Joe was one of these people.  He had very large hands and this was an inherited trait on his dad’s side.  So the drumsticks were like toothpicks in his hands.  He held them with finesse.  The first time I saw his drum set and heard him play, I felt incredible awe and respect, like here was this guy doing something he had complete command over.  It was more like I was standing with a highly trained chef who was carefully seasoning a very delicate and intricate foreign dish, but it was all done in rhythm.

He handed me the sticks.  “It’s your turn,” he said.

“Huh?”

“Play.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.  I”ll break one of them.”

“No you won’t.

Once, we did drumming in church.  There were a limited number of drums, so I chose not to get one of my own.  A handful of kids showed up, not many, that day.  Mostly, we sat and drummed, and drummed and drummed.  I liked it a lot.

Both service dogs showed up that day.  Both fell asleep to the sound of the drumming.  It was one of Puzzle’s first times in church.  I think this was even before she was a service dog.  Wow, a long time ago.

Today, I went to a food pantry.  Mostly, I was interested in getting to the clothes closet to find clothes, but all they had were clingy sweaters, so-called winter wear.  I was hoping for button-up shirts to wear to church.  I don’t wear clingy sweaters, not the knit type and especially anything scoop neck or low-cut anything.  Shucks.